The Best Retractable Dog Leash: Reviewed for 2021

Published: September 15, 2021

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Many dog owners love the design of a retractable dog leash. These leashes allow you to customize the length of your dog’s leash depending on the situation. You can choose from a length of just a few inches to the longest lengths of up to 26 feet. Retractable leashes allow you to customize the amount of control you need based on the specific situation.

There are many different retractable leashes on the market. Many come with added features such as an extra-long lead length, heavy-duty and unbreakable cords flashlights, poop bag holders, tangle-free designs, and hands-free walking options. Choosing which model will be the overall best choice for your dog can be tricky!

That’s exactly why we put this review together. We wanted to help you choose the best retractable leash for your pup that will match your budget and offer all the additional features you’re looking for. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

Verified Review: Our Hands On Experience

Each of the retractable leashes featured below has undergone our extensive testing process. We believe in seeing how each product actually performs before recommending it to our customers. Here are a few additional pros and cons we noted during this process:

  • TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash: We really like how comfortable this leash is to hold and how well the retracting mechanism works to help us gain control of our dog when needed. However, we started seeing some signs of wear after a few uses.
  • SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight: We found this to be a very durable leash and love how bright the included flashlight is. However, we had some trouble getting the leash to fully retract without folding or getting stuck a few times.
  • LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash: The overall design of this leash and pack is wonderful. With the added clip and zippered compartment, we were easily able to bring along everything we would need during a run with our pups. However, since the D-ring for the leash is on the right side, it may be difficult to use with dogs who are trained to walk/run on the left.

The Top Picks for the Best Retractable Dog Leash: Ranked

TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Anti-Slip Handle; 16 ft Strong Nylon Tape; One-Handed Brake, Pause, Lock (Small, White)
  • Small Leash is Suitable for Dogs Under 35 lbs; Medium For Dogs Under 55 lbs; Large For Dogs Under 110 lbs; Retractable Leashes Not Suitable For Chewing
  • 16 ft Tape Leash With Easy-Adjust Retraction; Tangle Free 360 Degree Tape Movement
  • Quick Lock And Unlock Feature - Easy Roll-On and Roll-Off With Your Thumb
  • Super Comfortable Grip For Those Long Walks! Ergonomic Anti-Slip Handle
  • Heavy Duty Internal Coil For Consistent Retraction

Our overall top pick for the best retractable dog leash is the TUG 360°. This is a well-constructed retractable leash that is sure to perform as desired, but it is also reasonably priced making it a budget-friendly option.

The leash comes in four different sizes: tiny (for dogs under 26 pounds), small (for dogs under 35 pounds), medium (for dogs under 55 pounds), and large (for large dogs under 110 pounds). Each leash has a 16-foot adjustable lead (or 10-foot lead for the tiny size). The lead features a tangle-free mechanism to prevent dogs from getting caught up in the lead.

Use your thumb to easily lock or release the lead to maintain control of your dog or give him additional freedom depending on the specific situation. The hand features an ergonomic design to keep handlers comfortable. There are seven different color options available: black, blue, green, gray, red, white, and white/orange.

Click here to check out TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash on amazon.com

SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash 26 FT with LED Flash Light & Poop Bag Dispenser for up to 110 LB Small Medium Large Dogs Outdoor Walking & Training
  • ✔️VALUABLE PACK: Comes with one retractable dog leash, one detachable LED flash light which be powered by 3 AAA batteries (batteries NOT included), one poop bag roll and matching dispenser
  • ✔️DURABLE & ERGONOMIC: Adopted with durable shockproof case, ergonomic grip and anti-slip handle, larger handle space provide additional comfort for dog owners during walks
  • ✔️HEAVY DUTY: Stronger and much wider 26 ft leash, perfect for medium large dogs up to 110 lbs daily walking, training
  • ✔️GOOD RETRACTION: The leash exit is made of metal, which is smoother and prevents knotting, internal stainless steel upgraded coil spring for reliable retraction
  • ✔️BETTER CONTROL: Equipped with a button for leash break & lock, easy to adjust leash length according to your request

This retractable dog leash from SCENEREAL includes a detachable LED flashlight making it perfect for taking your dog out when it is dark outside. The case is designed to be shockproof or added durability and an increased lifespan, and the handle features an ergonomic design for comfort during a walk.

If you’re looking for an extra-long retractable leash, this is a great choice. The lead extends up to 26 feet and is suitable for use with medium and large dogs that weigh up to 110 pounds. With the extra-long length of this leash, you can give your dogs more freedom or let them out in the yard to take care of their business while still on their leash. When you need to retract the leash, the upgraded stainless steel coil spring will make doing so easy. Simply press the button to lock the leash or adjust its length.

This model also includes a poop bag holder hook at the base, so you can always keep poop bags within easy access.

Click here to check out SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight on amazon.com

Sale
Hands Free Dog Leash for Running Walking Jogging Training Hiking, Retractable Bungee Dog Running Waist Leash for Medium to Large Dogs, Adjustable Waist Belt with Pack, Reflective Stitches, Dual Handle
  • 【PREMIUM MATERIAL, EXCELLENT WORKMANSHIP】 LANNEY running dog leash is made of anti-tear nylon that can withstand pulling from energetic dogs, medium and large breeds. The cross-stitching lines are wear-resistant to ensure the hands free leash will last for years. Heavy duty metal clasps with 360° rotation increase durability and makes the dog waist leash tangle free. Durable belt buckle locks tightly and securely. Reflective stripes throughout the walking leash ensure visibility and safety.
  • 【SHOCK ABSORBING BUNGEE LEASH】LANNEY hands free dog leash can absorb shock and pull force from dogs up to 150lb. With the handsfree leash being pulled, elastic bungee tension goes higher. It is “stop pulling” warning, thus your dog will be gradually trained. The dog running leash will reduce stress and muscle strain on you and dog. Your waist won’t get injured. Our waist dog leash is 51” and extends up to 76” that is long enough to provide adequate room, but short enough not to get in your way.
  • 【DUAL PADDED HANDLES FOR BETTER CONTROL】The dog walking leash has 2 handles with soft neoprene padding for easy and comfortable grip. No more hand rashes. Quickly grip the handle by your waist to guide dog back on track. The hands-free dog leash allows you to control your dog without breaking stride. When crossing the street or walking in the crowd, you can hold the handle near collar to achieve direct traffic control, to keep your pet dog nearby you, walking slowly owly or stopping immediately.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE WAIST BELT WITH 2 RINGS】The waist dog leash for running suits both men and women. 1.1” wide waistband fits a large range of waist sizes. The movable O ring allows dog running freely around you without stepping on your heels. The D ring allows you to attach extra leash or accessories. You can control the dog with body weight instead of having your hands strained. With hands free dog leash on waist, you can swing arms, answer phone call, hold umbrella,ella, or even look after you baby!
  • 【MULTIFUNCTIONAL BAG, SATISFACTION GUARANTEE】 The dog running leash comes with waist pack with 2 pockets compartments that can store a supply of poop bags, dog treats, phone, keys, etc. LANNEY hands free dog leash is perfect for walking, running, jogging or hiking with dog, even training dog! Moreover, we stand behind our premium waist dog leash and guarantee your complete satisfaction. If anything is short of your expectation, let us know and we will send new replacement or fnt or full refund.

Try this leash from LANNEY if you’re looking for a hands-free retractable leash. The budget-friendly design includes a waist pouch that attaches to the shock-absorbing bungee leash designed for dogs weighing up to 150 pounds. A durable 360-degree clasp is also integrated into the design to keep your dog from getting tangled up.

The lead length is adjustable between 51 and 76 inches to allow you to customize the distance between you and your dog. Additionally, two padded handles are included on the leash to help you quickly gain control of your dog if needed.

The waist pack included with this set is adjustable to fit men and women of different sizes. It also includes a D-ring where you can hook up an extra leash or other accessories you’ll need for your walk. There are two zippered compartments in the pack to hold other supplies or treats for your pup.

Click here to check out LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash on amazon.com

What are the Benefits and Risk of Using a Retractable Leash

Before you purchase a retractable dog leash, it is important to consider and weigh the benefits and risks associated with this type of leash.

First, let’s review some of the benefits of using retractable leashes:

  • Give dogs more freedom to run and play: When you’re in a situation where your dog can safely run and play, but you are required to keep them on a leash, a retractable leash offers a good solution. With their longer lead, retractable leashes can help you maintain control of your dog, while still letting them explore and play.
  • Adjustable lead length: Retractable leashes allows handlers to customize the lead length based on the situation. You can make it longer when you’re not in a busy area and your dog can run around or shorten it up if you’re walking around a lot of other people or pets.
  • Good for recall training: Using a retractable leash can also help with recall training and helping dogs learn how to come when called. You can get far enough away from your dog, while still keeping them safely on a leash, to help them learn how to come when called.
  • Helpful for potty breaks: Some dogs don’t like to take care of their business when their owner is standing right next to them. Since you can’t just let your dog off their leash to use the bathroom, a retractable leash offers a good solution. You may also find that a retractable leash makes it easier to let your dog take care of his business in the yard on a rainy day, while you remain dry inside.
  • May come with added features: Some retractable leashes on the market are designed with additional features to make them even more user-friendly. These features can include an extra-long lead, tangle-free designs, unbreakable and heavy duty cords for large dogs, poop bag holders, flashlights, and the option to use the leash with a hands-free waist belt.

There are a few safety concerns to be aware of too if you’re thinking about getting a retractable leash:

  • Risk of injury: Retractable leashes have a very thin cord that could become wrapped around a dog or a human. If the cord is wrapped and then pulled by the dog, it could cause a deep cut, amputation of a body part, or even strangulation.
  • Loss of control: If your dog is multiple feet ahead of you and becomes provoked by another animal, reining them in will be much more difficult with a long leash than it will be with a shorter leash.
  • Risk of escape: Retractable leashes are designed with a thinner cord that could snap if pulled on by a very powerful dog. This could allow your dog to escape from their leash.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Retractable Dog Leash: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why are retractable leashes bad for dogs?

Retractable leashes pose a lot of risks for dogs and handlers and should be used sparingly and only with well-trained dogs. One potential risk is injury, or even strangulation, from the very thin rope of these leashes. If the rope gets wrapped around a part of the dog or the owner and is pulled tight, it could lead to the amputation of a limb or finger.

Retractable leashes can give dogs too much freedom since they are so much longer than a traditional leash. This can make it very difficult to pull a dog back should it get provoked or threatened by another animal. With the longer cord stretched out, the dog could cause the cord to snap and end up getting away.

Many retractable leash cords are not unbreakable and could allow a dog to escape if the leash snaps.

Is it better to use a retractable dog leash?

Most dog trainers and veterinarians don’t recommend using a retractable dog leash. These leashes can cause potentially serious injuries to dogs or their owners and can make it difficult to control a dog. The added freedom dogs get with using a retractable leash can actually encourage them to pull when they are walking on a leash.

However, there are some benefits to using a retractable leash as well. The design of these leashes allows you to adjust the length of the lead to control the amount of freedom your dog has. With the longer lead on a retractable leash, you can also allow your dog more freedom to run and play while still complying with state or local leash laws. You may also find that giving your dog more distance from you will help them take care of their business more easily. It can also allow you to let your dogs out to use the bathroom in the yard while you’re still standing inside on a rainy day.

Are retractable dog leashes safe?

Retractable dog leashes are not the safest option for a pup. The longer, thin cord of a retractable leash can get wrapped around a part of the dog’s body (or the handlers’ body) and cause rope burn, cuts, or even strangulation. Retractable leashes definitely shouldn’t be used with dogs who aren’t well-trained. But even well-trained dogs can become provoked if threatened and may end up pulling too much on their leash. Large dogs can pull too hard on a retractable leash, but even some smaller dogs could suffer potential injury.

What is the best brand of retractable dog leash?

There are a lot of well-known retractable dog leash brands. Two of the most highly-rated brands are TUG and Fida.

What is the longest retractable dog leash?

The longest retractable leashes have leads that are 26 feet long.

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